Balboa Park – San Diego’s Crown Jewel

Balboa Park’s inception was in 1868 when land was set aside for a city park.  A master plan was created in the early 1900s when taxes were levied leading to water systems and roads being built. To further promote San Diego’s commercial possibilities as the first US port of call for ships transiting the Panama[…]

Pechanga Resort Casino

Pechanga Resort Casino There’s nothing better than a quick getaway destination with good food, amenities galore, reasonable rates, and a casino.  Since I had read about Pechanga’s $300 million expansion last year, I decided to give it a try. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t disappointed.    History The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians has called the[…]

California’s Central Valley’s Gem: Chico

Recent History:  Chico, CA has been in the news a lot since the devastating fire that destroyed its neighbor, Paradise.  It became the the staging ground for Cal Fire and volunteers from around the state and country.  Chico was also inundated with almost 20,000 displaced persons.  The community was impacted greatly but is slowly recovering.[…]

Staying and Playing in La Jolla

Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer.  If a beach vacation is in your plans, head to San Diego’s “jewel,” La Jolla.  Although it has an upscale reputation, there are lots of ways to enjoy inexpensive meals and free things to do.  I’ve lived in La Jolla for 45+ years, so I’ve shopped around[…]

Comala…Pueblo Magico

Background – The village of Comala, population 20,000, is located approximately 75 miles east of Manzanillo in the small state of Colima, Mexico.  It is the least populous region in the entire country. Indigenous people first appeared in the area 3,000 years ago and called it Ajuchitlán, the Valley of the Flowers.  Pueblos de Mexico[…]

When Reno Was King

Although the Gold Rush first brought prospectors to California looking to make their fortunes, the Reno area exploded with the discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode.  Then came the entrepreneurs (think Levi’s blue jeans), prostitutes, and shady characters.  Illegal gambling parlors sprung up; it was truly the wild west.  By the 1920s, Reno was[…]

The Historic Harris Ranch

A Surprising Discovery  Located in California’s sparsely populated San Joaquin Valley is “an unexpected oasis,” the Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant.  It’s much more than a way-stop along a stretch of Highway 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles.   History: The Harris family has been farming in California for over 100 years. They established[…]

Before Half Dome

“Mile High” Idyllwild (altitude 1.6 km) and Tahquitz Rock, often called Lily Rock, have received world-wide recognition from rock climbers since the 1930s. In 1947, a “difficulty of climb” scale, based on Tahquitz Rock, was established. After the ascent of Half Dome in 1957, the Sierra Club tweaked the values and the ratings became known[…]

Ambling and Gambling

Nevada’s nickname is “The Silver State,” and is home to a casino resort on my list of favorite places to stay and play…The Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno. Ambling Hotels have their own personality so, after my speedy check-in, I wandered around to catch the vibe. I discovered restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, bars/nightclubs, the[…]